The heroism seen on that French train is a wonderful horror story.
It's wonderful in that we saw a fearlessness that we all wish we might possess in times of danger. What those Americans and that Brit and Frenchman did was wonderful.
The horror is what the government didn't do. The government didn't stop that creep, so hundreds of passengers had to bank on a Yank. This Islamist was on three terror watch lists, yet there he was on a train bent on murder. If those brave men hadn't been there, it would have been pure carnage.
Anyone taking a train these days makes a chilling observation: so many entrances , so few securities. Cheap umbrellas offer more protection. And if it's not guns it will be homemade bombs or bio-med attacks -- anything is possible.
The fact is the world has changed. States no longer hold a patent on violence. Anyone can do it and has. This forces us to grow up and admit that, aside from heroes, increased surveillance is all we've got these days. Given that terrorists are innocent of crimes until they commit them, that means our only good offense is a great defense.
It's time we shake the Snowden hangover and recommit to national security. Whistleblowing is great in films, but in the real world you don't blow the whistle on your only chance for survival. Snowden's easy sabotage stands in stark contrast to those valiant men on that train. But as long as we allow our security to be dictated by rats, then we'll need to rely on the kindness of strangers on a train.